Apple House Cinnamon Doughnuts

Apple House Cinnamon Doughnuts
Apple House Cinnamon Doughnuts
This image courtesy of Robert Knapp

Editor's Note: This fall, bring the classic taste of apples to your breakfast table with this recipe for Apple House Cinnamon Doughnuts. Using cinnamon, nutmeg, and even rice milk and dairy-free margarine, you'll be able to whip up a batch of doughnuts that will be perfect for breakfast, snacks, and even dessert. Just don't expect any leftovers when you set out a tray of these doughnuts! Whether you're looking for a recipe that does not use allergens or simply want to try a new take on the classic recipe, these doughnuts are sure to delight. If you're serving these doughnuts for brunch, you can even add the author's recipe for Pancakes to the menu.

The Apple Haus, in Long Grove, Illinois, serves delicious apple cider doughnuts and apple pies. We stopped going there long ago because of John’s allergies, but I never forgot how much I loved those doughnuts. I was determined to develop a recipe that closely matched those sweet and sugary treats. This recipe is the result of that mission, and it is fabulous. My son was so excited-not only could he have a doughnut for the first time in his life, but his were just as good as those at the Apple Haus.

Serves12 doughnuts and 12 holes

Cooking MethodFrying



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionFamily Get Together

MealBreakfast, Brunch

Taste and TextureLight, Spiced, Sweet

Type of DishDessert


  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dairy-free margarine, melted
  • 4½-4¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soy or rice milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. In a large, heavy pot, heat 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil until a candy thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F.

  2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the applesauce, vanilla, and ¾ cup sugar. Add the margarine, and mix well. In a separate medium bowl, combine the 4½ cups flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt with a wire whisk. Add the flour mixture and the soy milk alternately to the applesauce-margarine mixture. Add more flour, if needed, to make a smooth and not-too-sticky dough.

  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Knead for about 1 minute, and roll out to a ½-inch-thick circle. Dip a doughnut cutter into flour, and cut into the dough. Remove the trimmings and reroll, repeating the process.

  4. Slide a few doughnuts into the hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pot. Fry until the doughnuts rise to the surface, about 2 minutes, and turn over with metal tongs to fry the other side. Doughnuts should be golden brown on both sides. Lift out the doughnuts with metal tongs and drain on paper towels.

  5. Mix together the ½ cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Place the cinnamon-sugar mixture in a brown paper lunch bag. Place the warm doughnuts, one at a time, in the brown bag, and shake to coat. Shake off excess sugar, and place on a serving platter. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.


If you don’t have a doughnut cutter, use a 3-inch biscuit cutter instead. To make the doughnut holes, use an empty, sterilized round medicine bottle without the cap. Poke the hole in the middle of the circle, and down the hole will pop. This is a time-tested trick I learned from my mom.


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We used to make these tasty donuts as a kid for cold winter mornings when you just could not shovel in another bowl of oatmeal. We loved when mom made them, and she always had a variety of toppings to keep them varied. I like the addition of the applesauce. My mom makes applesauce cookies and they are so tasty and moist.


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